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FSIS

Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Export Requirements for Saudi Arabia

SA-35 (May 6, 2014)

Asterisks (*) indicate the most recent revision to these requirements. To search, click on your browser's "Edit" menu, then click on "Find (on this page)". Enter "*" in the "Find What" field, then click "Find" or "Find Next" until all asterisks have been identified.

Eligible/Ineligible Products

  1. Eligible
    1. Fresh/frozen meat and offal and further processed meat products, except beef as noted under "Ineligible" below.
    2. Poultry and poultry products.

    Note: Exports of poultry and poultry products to Saudi Arabia must be sourced from slaughter establishments that participate in the Agricultural Marketing Service's Animal Protein Free Verification Program for Poultry (APFV). Information about this program can be found at AMS' Website. A listing of slaughter establishments currently participating in the APFC program, as well as eligible product identification information, can also be found at AMS' Website.
  2. Ineligible
    1. Imports of pork or pork products are not allowed by Saudi Arabia. However, pork or pork products may be allowed for entry for U.S. diplomatic or military use.
    2. Beef shipped on or after May 10, 2012, is ineligible for export to Saudi Arabia.
    3. Bison


Labeling Requirements

  1. All products - Storage temperature must be placed with the refrigeration statement on the boxes to fully clarify the type of product being handled. (EXAMPLE: "KEEP FROZEN - store at or below ___°C; KEEP CHILLED (OR REFRIGERATE) - STORE BETWEEN ___°C AND ___°C. "
    1. Storage temperature must be placed with the refrigeration statement on the boxes to fully clarify the type of product being handled. (Example: "KEEP FROZEN - store at or below ___°C; KEEP CHILLED (OR REFRIGERATE) - STORE BETWEEN ___°C AND ___°C."
    2. Production and expiration dates (See OTHER REQUIREMENTS, section C -- Mandatory Expiration Periods for Food Products.)
  2. Fresh/frozen meat and poultry. In addition to the labeling features mandatory in the United States, precut/processed and packaged meat and poultry must bear the following features:
    1. Bilingual labels - The Arabic language must be one of the languages used for declaration.
    2. A Statement must be included on the label that Halal product has been slaughtered according to Islamic principles.
    3. Metric net weight:
      1. Poultry - Chilled whole bird weights can range from 550-1800 g. Weight classes (grades) shall be divided by a difference of at least 100 g between the classes. There is a tolerance of 50 g within a class.
      2. Frozen poultry - Individual birds (units) within each box or carton shall be uniform in size and weight, with a tolerance not exceeding 10%.
    4. The use of the terminology " Keep Refrigerated" is not acceptable on labels for frozen product.
    5. The following labeling methods may be used as alternatives to comply with Labeling Requirements:
      1. Stickers - Must not interfere with label terminology and be self destructive on removal. Stickers covering existing labeling information are in violation. Adding stickers for production and expiration dates is not permissible.
      2. Inserts - Must be accompanied by production and expiration dates.
      3. Ink stamp - Ink must be indelible and legible. (Ink stamps are the least desirable labeling method.)
  3. Processed meat and poultry
    1. Features required on processed meat and poultry labels:
      1. bilingual labels with labeling features mandatory in the United States,
      2. metric net weights,
      3. identification of pork products (including lard), and
      4. production and expiration dates (See OTHER REQUIREMENTS, section C -- Product Arrival and Expiration Date.)
    2. A Certificate of Islamic Slaughter is not required for processed meat and poultry products. If processed products are labeled with Halal claims, then origin raw materials must be from Muslim- approved operations and be accompanied with appropriate certificates supporting Islamic Slaughter.
  4. Prepackaged processed meat and poultry product requires the following:
    1. Net weight.
    2. A list of all ingredients should be declared in descending order of weight at the time of manufacture, except for single ingredient food.*
    3. The name and address of the manufacturer or packer should be declared in case the packer is not the manufacturer.*


Documentation Requirements

All FSIS export certificates accompanying the product must be signed by an FSIS veterinarian.  The veterinary degree (DVM or equivalent) must be indicated after the signature.

  1. Beef and mutton
    1. Obtain FSIS Form 9060-5, Meat and Poultry Certificate of Wholesomeness.
    2. The following statements must be provided as an FSIS Letterhead Certificate:
      1. The meat is from animals of an average age of ____ and is subject to veterinary examination not more than 12 hours prior to and immediately after slaughter and found free of disease and suitable for human consumption.
      2. The animals originated from herds under State supervision for the diseases regulated by the State or the United States Department of Agriculture.
      3. The animals for slaughter were given careful veterinary inspection and found free from clinical signs of infectious and contagious disease.
      4. The United States has been free of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) since 1929.
      5. The product was prepared, handled, stored and transported under hygienic conditions.
      6. The product is in conformity with pertinent United States regulations concerning production, storage, and transport.
      7. There have been no outbreaks of vesicular stomatitis, rinderpest, peste des petis ruminants, contagious bovine pleuropneumonia, lumpy skin disease, Rift Valley Fever, bluetongue, sheep pox, goat pox, theileriosis hemorrhagic septicemia (Asian-type), bovine brucellosis, bovine tuberculosis, bovine babesiosis, contagious agalactia and contagious caprine pleuropneumonia in the State of origin in the 3 months prior to slaughter.
      8. The product has not been stored with products that have not passed inspection.
      9. The feeding of ruminant protein (meat meal and bone meal) to ruminants is prohibited in the United States.
      10. Based on a national residue program, the product does not contain harmful residues of substances with hormonal effect.

    Note: The meat letterhead certification statements have been discussed with Saudi import officials and are believed to meet the Saudi certification requirements.
  2. Poultry and Poultry product
    1. Obtain FSIS Form 9060-5--FSIS Meat and Poultry Certificate of Wholesomeness.
    2. The following statements must be provided as an FSIS Letterhead Certificate:
      1. The birds were subject to veterinary examination not more than 12 hours prior to and immediately after slaughter and found free from disease and suitable for human consumption.
      2. The birds originated from flocks under State supervision for the diseases regulated by the State or the United States Department of Agriculture.
      3. The birds for slaughter were given careful veterinary inspection and found free from clinical signs of infectious and contagious disease.
      4. The product was prepared, handled, stored and transported under hygienic conditions.
      5. The product is in conformity with pertinent United States regulations concerning production, storage, and transport.
      6. There have been no outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (fowl plaque), lethal-type Newcastle disease, fowl typhoid and pullorum disease in the State of origin in the 3 months prior to slaughter.
      7. The product has not been stored with products that have not passed inspection.
      8. The poultry has not been fed with animal-protein, animal fats, or animal by-products.
      9. The United States Food and Drug Administration prohibits the use of growth-stimulating hormones in poultry feeds.
  3. Note: Frozen product may require a statement that "Product was frozen 72 hours after slaughter." The application of the statement is unclear at this time, however FSIS can certify this statement if requested by the exporter and verified to be true. More information will be provided if it becomes available.


Handling/Storage Requirements

Saudi Arabia requires that instructions for consumers concerning storage, preparation and other special handling requirements accompany all shipments.

Other Requirements

  1. Saudi Arabian Import Inspection
    1. Laboratory sampling - Random samples collected on all meat and poultry products entering Saudi Arabia are examined for:
      1. Salmonellae - product rejected when more than 2 of 5 sub-samples are positive.
      2. E. Coli - no tolerance in ground beef.
      3. Growth bacteria - maximum 10,000,000/gm.
      4. Volatile nitrogen - beef: maximum 20 mg./100 gm.; Poultry: maximum 50 gm./ 100 kg.
    2. Species identification tests for pork are routinely run on all product.
    3. When frozen poultry sample is thawed, the amount of water collected should not exceed 5 percent. Saudi Arabian officials recommend that U.S. industry run test prior to shipment to assure that product is not detained on arrival.
  2. Detained product - If product is detained, an appeal must be made in person by a Saudi Arabian broker or consignee to the Saudi Ministry of Commerce. Appeals are decided on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Mandatory Expiration Periods for Food Products
    1. Saudi Arabia requires that production and expiration dates be declared on the label of the package for each food product in an uncoded manner as follows:
      • [Day-Month-Year] for food products having an expiration period up to 3 months.*
      • [Day-Month-Year or Month-Year] for food products having an expiration period exceeding 3 months.*

      The use of any of the following statements for expressing the expiration date is permissible. It is mandatory to mention the production date:
      • The expiration date.*
      • Consume until date ______.*
      • Best until _______ from production date.*
      • Best before date _______.*
    2. In case of production and expiration dates in month and year only, the expiration period shall be calculated up to the end of the registered expiration month.
    3. Dates shall be printed or stamped with permanent ink directly on all packages or on their original label by the producer only. Adding stickers for production and expiration dates is not permissible. There shall not be more than one date of production or date of expiration on the same package. Both dates shall not be subject to deletion or change.
    4. Saudi Arabia requires mandatory expiration periods for the following chilled food products (to be stored at temperatures from 0-5 degrees C):
      1. For chilled meat packed under carbon dioxide atmosphere within suitable containers eliminating gases exchange, the expiration period shall be no more than 90 days from the slaughtering date at a temperature of -0.5 +/- 1 degree C.
      2. For edible organs and fats such as kidneys, heart, brain, tongue, poultry giblets, etc under suitable containers, the expiration period shall be no more than 7 days from the slaughtering date (except brain and testis which shall not no more than 5 days)
      3. For edible organs and fats such as kidneys, heart, brain, tongue, poultry giblets, etc. packed under vacuum in suitable plastic containers, the expiration period shall be no more than 51 days from the slaughtering date at a temperature of -0.5 +/-1 degree C.
      4. For edible organs and fats such as kidneys, heart, brain, tongue, poultry giblets, etc. packed under carbon dioxide atmosphere in suitable containers, the expiration period shall be no more than 90 days from the slaughtering date at a temperature of -0.5 +/-1 degree C.
      5. For poultry meat packed in suitable plastic containers, the expiration period shall be no more than 7 days from the slaughtering date.
      6. For beef and buffalo meat packed in suitable containers, the expiration period shall be no more than 21 days from the slaughtering date.
      7. For mutton and goat meat packed in suitable containers, the expiration period shall be no more than 14 days from the slaughtering date.
      8. For meat packed under vacuum in plastic containers, the expiration period shall be no more than 10 weeks from the slaughtering date.
    5. Expiration dates for other frozen, chilled, or canned meat and meat products are voluntary. Requests for more information about these or other shelf-life standards should be submitted to the Food Department at the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO), Telephone No. 966-1-4520-166.
  4. For direct shipments, the container number and seal number (not a USDA seal) should be typed in the "Remarks" section of FSIS Form 9060-5. However, product transiting third country ports must be sealed with a USDA seal and the seal number and container number must be typed in the "Remarks" section of FSIS Form 9060-5.


Plants Eligible to Export

All Federally inspected plants are eligible to export to Saudi Arabia.

Information Regarding Halal Certification and Producer/Manufacturer Self Certification

The following is presented as information for the exporter. FSIS is not responsible for certifying that products intended for export to Muslim countries meet appropriate requirements for religious slaughter. Procedures for export certification do not include agency oversight of the Halal process or review of the authenticity of the Halal certificate.

Islamic Slaughter Certification

The exporter must obtain a Certificate of Islamic (Halal) Slaughter from a member of an Islamic Center or Islamic organization. Products bearing Halal label claims must be accompanied by an appropriate Halal certification or a written assurance from the exporter that an appropriate Halal certificate will be supplied to accompany that shipment before it reaches its destination. A Certificate of Islamic Slaughter is a certificate issued by a member of a Muslim organization recognized by the importing country to provide this service; the certificate states that animals were slaughtered according to Muslim religious requirements. Processed products with Halal claims should also be accompanied by an appropriate Halal certificate. The certificate must be endorsed by the Arab-American Chamber of Commerce or by Saudi Arabia's Consul and must accompany all shipments.

Arab American Chambers of Commerce

  1. NATIONAL U.S.-ARAB CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
    1625 Eye Street NW Suite 902
    Washington, D.C. 20006
    (202) 331-8010
    Fax (202) 331-8297
  2. U.S.-ARAB CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
    135 South Lasalle Street Room 1020
    Chicago, Illinois 60603
    (312) 782-0320
    Fax (312) 782-7379
  3. U.S.-ARAB CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
    1231 Market Street
    San Francisco, California 94101-7239
    (415) 552-8202
    (213) 646-1499 branch office in Los Angeles


For additional assistance regarding Halal slaughter requirements:

The Embassy of Saudi Arabia
601 New Hampshire Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037
(202) 342-3800
Fax (202) 342-0271

Producer/Manufacturer Self Certification

In addition to the above certifications, the exporter must obtain a producer/manufacturer self-certification for all shipments of fresh, frozen, or processed bovine and mutton to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to comply with additional Saudi Arabian requirements not related to food safety or animal health. The text of the self-certification that must accompany exports of fresh, frozen, or processed bovine or mutton meat can be found at the U.S. Meat Export Federation. This text must be printed on letterhead of the appropriate producer/manufacturer (including name and address) and signed by the producer/manufacturer. FSIS will not certify any of the statements within this self-certification.

SA-35 (May 6, 2014)

Last Modified May 06, 2014